Kerren Smith is joining the regional development board.
Kerren Smith is joining the regional development board.

Economic development board gets Gympie experience

GYMPIE businessman Kerren Smith has been appointed to a major economic development board for the Wide Bay.

The managing director of Smith Global Pty Ltd, and the former managing director of mining and transport company J. Smith and Sons, is one of two new members of Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett.

RDA Wide Bay Burnett Chair Bill Trevor said he welcomed the experience and local knowledge of Mr Smith to the committee which helps promote and facilitate economic development across the region.

"Kerren boasts more than 40 years business experience and is passionate to see the Wide Bay-Burnett grow in prosperity,” Mr Trevor said.

"Kerren is well respected in the Transport, Construction & Engineering, and Mining Industries domestically and internationally.”

In addition to his role in his family's companies, Mr Smith is a Director of Qld Cricket and the past Chairman of Wide Bay Tafe. Mr Smith is a fellow of the "Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Joining Mr Smith on the board is rural businesswoman Stephanie Whitaker.

Ms Whitaker, from the Burnett, and her husband have lived and worked in the Wide Bay-Burnett region for the past two decades.

They breed beef cattle on their property based in the South Burnett, have operated the Biggenden Saleyards and since 2007 have own Burnett Livestock and Realty where Stephanie manages the administration and marketing.

"Stephanie has participated in numerous professional and self-development training and served on the board of the Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation (BIEDO) where she held a business and economic development advisory role.

As well as serving on the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Ministerial Forum in 2007/08 as a conduit between the community and state government, she currently holds the position of Secretary of the Biggenden Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In 2011, Ms Whitaker won what was then known as the Mike Nixon Award, a national award recognising excellence in agricultural marketing for people with less than 10 years' experience in the industry.

In 2012, she was presented the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women's Network Strong Woman Leadership Award in the business category.

"Stephanie is an active member of many facets of the community and brings a broad and diverse knowledge in business, health and community care, community services and community development to the committee.”

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is a partnership that brings together Commonwealth, State and Local Governments with regional stakeholders. Together they apply their collective knowledge and resources to improve the economic outcomes of the region and its communities.

Funded by the Federal Government, the Wide Bay Burnett committee covers the local government areas of Gympie, Fraser Coast, North Burnett, South Burnett, Bundaberg and Cherbourg Aboriginal Council.

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